National/World

Chicago teachers vote to approve 3-year contract

Thursday, October 04, 2012
Striking Chicago school teachers march after a rally Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 in Chicago. Thousands of striking Chicago public school teachers and their allies packed a city park Saturday in a boisterous show of force as union leaders and the district tried to work out the details of an agreement that could end a week-long walkout.(AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

Striking Chicago school teachers march after a rally Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 in Chicago. Thousands of striking Chicago public school teachers and their allies packed a city park Saturday in a boisterous show of force as union leaders and the district tried to work out the details of an agreement that could end a week-long walkout.(AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

The Chicago Teachers Union says its teachers and support staff have overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract that includes pay increases and a new evaluation system.

Union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said late Wednesday the contract was ratified by 79 percent of the union's membership.

The Chicago Teachers Union said members, who voted on Tuesday, ratified the contract by a vote of 16,428 to 4,337. The contract now must be approved by the Chicago Board of Education, which is scheduled to meet later this month.

Teachers walked off the job Sept. 10, idling 350,000 students in the nation's third-largest school district for seven days before the union's delegates agreed to suspend the strike - and return to classes - pending the outcome of the official vote on a tentative contract.

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